I started learning Japanese through Tofugu’s ultimate guide and when they first mentioned WaniKani, they said to wait until level 10 to start using Anki and learning grammar. In the meantime, is there anything you guys would recommend me doing while I get there? I’ve heard some people say they wished they started reading sooner to really cement the Kanji in their heads but what would I look for to read? I also heard others mention a site that uses WaniKani’s API to learn vocab the other way around since they couldn’t recall it outside of reviews but I can’t seem to find what was mentioned. Aside from that, is there anything else you guys would recommend? Thanks!
The “other way around” site you’re thinking of is likely KaniWani, where you’re given an English word and asked to input the Japanese for it.
Everyone begins their grammar studies at different times, but many people disagree with the “wait until level 10” notion that Tofugu states. There’s nothing particularly beneficial about waiting that long IMO, and beginner grammar resources tend to use furigana with everything so kanji won’t hinder your learning. I think seeing vocab in your grammar studies also helps further cement the words you learn here on WK.
So I think now’s a good time to delve into grammar studies, personally. If you prefer the textbook route, I’d recommend Genki since it has good, clear explanations for grammar points. It also has an accompanying workbook with exercises (sold separately). If you want something more similar to WK for grammar, Bunpro is a site created by WK users where you have lessons and reviews for grammar points. I believe it has a free trial.
For reading material, when I was at an ultra beginner level I really liked these graded readers, though they are expensive. But there are several different levels of them, from zero to four I think, and they come with CDs to provide additional listening practice.
Awesome, glad to know a lot of people start sooner! Would you happen to know of any other reading sources? And does sites like KaniWani break the SRS? I felt like I read some debate about that but don’t remember the details.
I’m not positive if doing KaniWani level-by-level alongside WK would break the SRS, but I think it would be a pretty hefty workload (essentially double or more reviews). What a lot of people do to avoid this is enable a setting on KaniWani where you only have reviews for items you’ve burned on WK. That way you’re not messing with the SRS, and you have a much more manageable trickle of reviews.
Another reading source that’s free is NHK News Easy. It has news articles written in simple Japanese with furigana (which you can toggle). The grammar for the articles is probably N5-N4, so they’re definitely readable with some basic grammar study. And there are new ones posted daily.
Good to know that there is a setting for only burned items. And thanks for that other reading resource, it looks really helpful!
Glad it helped. Happy studies! And be sure to stick around, there’s lots of good stuff here on the forum.
I can already tell! I’ve been frequently checking up on the thread about Pistachio and am waiting to see @Omun’s reaction to that pinging thread…
Other than the things already mentioned by SleepyOne, one thing I wish I did in the early stages of my WaniKani was integrate an Anki deck for kanji writing. For me it’s easier to remember what a kanji looks like if I write it! Coming across them while reading can help cement the kanji in our head, but I want to be able to recall how to write a kanji when I need it too.
My Anki is about 5 levels behind my current level, and some burn items are coming up in my WK reviews. It feels like I’m cheating since I just saw them in another deck and recalling what it means is easier. But! I like the feeling that I can recall kanji better now.
I’m still considering weather I want to focus on writing or not. I’d definitely help with recalling the Kanji but it takes a lot of effort from what I’ve heard and I tend to write very little now and days since everything I do is digital.
+1 for NHK News Easy. It really helped me get into reading Japanese every day. While a bit more advanced, nihongodaybyday is a blog written by a Japanese teacher in both English and Japanese. She covers a wide range of topics and answers frequently asked questions in easy-to-understand Japanese. I tried to get through one or two articles a day when I was studying for the JLPT and my reading comprehension greatly improved.
There are tons of awesome resources out there and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. When I first started out, I got burned out so many times trying to bite off more than I could chew. The most important thing is to find a few resources that you like/that work for you and stick to them. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, it will make it that much more difficult to learn.
Plus in Level 0 Volume 1 you get to learn all about cherry blossoms and beans! I use and recommend these too!
If you want to want to avoid synonym-hell in KaniWani, you can also try out KameSame. Some users have integrated handwriting practice using this web app as well.
Really, KameSame doesn’t have synonym hell? How they deal with it?
There are videos from the link above that show how it’s done or you can give it go!